European Basketball set to make Volos return in 2019
Volos will welcome the continent when the city hosts the 2019 edition of the FIBA U18 European Championship…
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Volos has been named as the host city for the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship, marking the second time in the tournament’s history that the tournament will be played in the Thessalian city.
Volos, which hosted the 2015 edition of the tournament, was named as the host for next summer’s showpiece following FIBA meetings in Iceland this week.
With Volos as hosts for the second time, Greece will mark its fifth time hosting the event – including four since the start of the current millennium.
While Greece are not the most successful side in the tournament’s 54-year history, the country has performed well each time the tournament has been hosted by a Greek city. In fact, Greek teams have enjoyed a top-three finish in all but one tournament that was hosted in Greece.
Greece first hosted the event in Athens in 1970, with Greece reaching the final on the heels of a 6-0 run in the tournament before losing to the Soviet Union in the gold medal game.
The tournament didn’t return to Greece until 2006 when a trio of cities – Amaliada, Olympia, and Argostoli – hosted the event. This time Greece wouldn’t get a podium finish, however, as the Greek side of 2006 lost to Lithuania at the quarter-final stage en route to a sixth-place finish.
After a heartbreaking Final loss to Serbia in the 2007 edition of the tournament in Madrid, Spain, Greece hosted the competition again in 2008. Amaliada and Pyrgos returned as hosts as Greece triumphed over Lithuania in the Final for Greece’s first gold medal at the U18 level.
Seven years later, Greece hosted the tournament and once again Greece triumphed in the tournament’s showpiece, this time with a 64-61 win over Turkey to capture tournaments honours in 2015.
The Hellenic Basketball Federation will be hoping that the return of the tournament to Greek soil will help the U18’s reach the podium once again as Greece has failed to finish better than seventh in its last two outings – 9th in 2016, 7th in 2017.
Before Greece can feature as hosts of the 2019 edition of the tournament, Latvia will be under the spotlight this coming summer as Riga, Ventspils, and Liepaja will host the continent from 28 July through to 5 August.
Greece’s campaign begins with group stage clashes against the host Latvians, and Adriatic neighbours Italy, and Croatia.